9-Year-Old Black Girl Bullied For Her Afro is Now a Bestselling Author
Nationwide — Tiana Akoh-Arrey, a 9-year-old girl from London, England who was bullied for her natural hair, turned her sad experience into a success through a book she wrote called My Afro: Twin Best Friends. The is being well-received all around the world and has even landed on Amazon’s bestsellers list.
Tiana has always loved reading and writing at a young age. She was just 4 years old when she started writing full sentences. And at only 6 years old, when she felt ridiculed for her hair, she thought of writing about it.
“One day at school, a kid made fun of my afro and said that it made me look like a lion,” Tiana told Good Morning America. “That made me really sad, so I asked my mom to straighten my hair to look like my other friends who did not have an Afro. She explained to me that I should learn to be proud and accept my hair as it is because it’s beautiful. I was trying my hand at writing short stories, so I decided to write about my hair.”
After reading the story, Tiana’s mother Dorothy felt deeply impressed that she decided to submit her daughter’s work to Conscious Dreams Publishing. Tiana’s story was then published, making her a published author at the age of 7.
My Afro: Twin Best Friends is inspired by Tiana’s own experience with her thick Afro hair. In the story, the main character has a best friend with silky, straight hair but they want to look alike for picture day.
“The story follows my journey as I explore friendship, self-acceptance, and identity. Through this, readers can learn how to embrace who they are and celebrate differences in others.”
The book reportedly sold more than 700 copies, surpassing sales benchmarks for a first-time published author and having it on Amazon’s bestsellers list. Tiana has also been recognized as one of The Week Junior’s Heroes of the Year for 2022.
“I am really proud of myself, and it has confirmed the assurance my mom gave me that bullying is never about me but the bully trying to express their dissatisfaction in seeing someone different and trying to make others feel small,” Tiana said. “I am happy I have managed to not feel small but also helped other girls have the courage of wearing their Afro hair in all shapes and styles without feeling embarrassed about their hair or caring what people say. I feel like I have been empowered and also empowered others.”
For more details and/or to purchase the book, visit https://amzn.to/3nOGdbD